Washington, June 2: The Pakistan embassy in Washington has rejected the claim revealed in a book written by India's known journalist and writer Shyam Bhatia, that former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto had smuggled nuclear data to North Korea in 1993 during a visit to the country, and that she had confided the secret to him under the promise that he won't reveal it in her lifetime.
"It is absurd and highly ridiculous. The book is written in a sensational style, the sourcing is weak," said an embassy spokesman Nadeem Kiani. "Why would a prime minister do such a thing and then disclose it to an Indian journalist knowing that Indian journalists are not known for their love for Pakistan?" the Dawn quoted him as saying.
"Bhatia has in the past also published speculative stories relating to Pakistan's nuclear programme, the source of which has not always been authentic," Kiani said and added it was not appropriate to soil the memory of Pakistan's "icon of democracy".
According to the book, "Goodbye, Shahzadi," Benazir, while on a state visit to North Korea in 1993, smuggled critical data on uranium enrichment to help facilitate a missile deal with Pyongyang. The information could have been used to make a nuclear weapon, the report suggested.
The assertion is based on conversations that the author had with Bhutto in 2003, in which she said she would tell him a secret "so significant that I had to promise never to reveal it, at least not during her lifetime."